Skip to main content

Full text of "A search in secret Egypt"

See other formats

54               A SEARCH IN SECRET EGYPT
Chamber, a curious echo which returned more than once every time he shouted loudly. He suspected—and rightly—that somewhere behind the granite slabs of this gaunt room there existed another chamber. It was just possible, indeed probable, that within that chamber there lay a linen-wrapped mummy with its accompanying jewels.
He gathered a few workmen together and set to work. The floor of the King's Chamber had already been fruitlessly excavated by Al Mamoun centuries before; the echoes of Davison's own voice seemed to come from overhead; and so he turned his attention to the ceiling. A careful examination of the layout of the Chamber and its adjoining passages showed that the easiest way to penetrate what lay above it was to force an opening through the top course of the eastern wall of the Grand Gallery and thus work through into the side of any chamber which existed there. Procuring a tall ladder to examine the spot, he was surprised to discover that the opening already existed, so he crawled through.
A chamber, twenty feet long, was found. Its position was exactly above that of the King's Chamber. Its ceiling was so low that Davison had to crawl in on his knees to search for the treasure which lured him, The room was completely empty.
Davison returned to Algiers, having gained nothing more than the problematical honour of having his name affixed to that of the newly discovered chamber by the archaeologists who followed him.
He was succeeded at the Pyramid in the early years of the nineteenth century by a strange excavator, who was dreamer, mystic and archaeologist in one. This man was an Italian, Captain Caviglia, who put in so much time at the old building that ne became, in his own* words, "tout-a-fait pyramidale" Lord Lindsay encountered him during a visit to Egypt and wiote home to England:
"Caviglia told me that he had pushed his studies in magic, animal magnetism, etc., to an extent which nearly killed him— to the very verge, he said, of what is forbidden man to know; and it was only the purity of his intentions which saved him. He has strange unearthly ideas. He says it would be highly dangerous to communicate them."
Whilst engaged on his archaeological work, Caviglia actually lived for a while in Davison's Chamber and turned that gloomy recess into a residential apartment 1